Amtrak Accessible Rooms
Amtrak Accessible Rooms

Amtrak Accessible Rooms: What You Need To Know

The Amtrak accessible rooms are sleeping accommodations found on all Amtrak overnight long-distance trains for passengers with mobility issues and their travel companions. These rooms allow passengers with mobility issues to see the views during the day and sleep at night, plus they offer other advantages to the other Amtrak sleeping accommodations.

At night, the attendant will set up the lower berth or bed for the person who needs the room, and the travel companion will need to climb into the upper berth.

This article explains the benefits of Amtrak-accessible rooms so you can decide if they are the right fit for your next Amtrak adventure.

These rooms are also known as Amtrak Accessible Bedrooms.

What trains have Amtrak Accessible Rooms?

Amtrak Accessible Rooms
Amtrak Superliner Accessible Room (Photo Courtesy of Amtrak)

Superliner and Viewliner Amtrak Accessible rooms are very similar, but I will highlight the differences when they come up.

To see what equipment the train you are thinking of has, check out this list of Amtrak long-distance trains. If the train you are looking at is not on the page above, it could be a regional or Acela train with seating accommodations.

The only Amtrak long-distance train that does not have rooms is the Palmetto.

As stated in the intro, other Amtrak trains, such as regionals, have accommodations from extra space accommodations. Often, Amtrak connection services can accommodate needs.

Terms you should know.

Before we get too far, there are a few terms we should go over so we are all on the same page.

On trains, beds are also called berths.

Amtrak has two styles of sleeper cars, Viewliner and Superliners.

Superliner Trains

Amtrak Superliner trains have bi-level or two-story cars. You board them on the lower level and move between the cars on the upper level.

They are mainly used on Western and Eastern routes that do not go into or out of New York.

Viewliner Trains

Amtrak Viewliner trains use single-level equipment and are mainly found on all trains starting or ending at New York Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station.

These trains are named after the Viewliner sleepers but use Amfleet II coach cars.

What are the dimensions of Amtrak accessible rooms?

Because of the two different equipment styles, the rooms are slightly different. On the Viewliner, the rooms are parallel to the tracks; on the Superliner, they are perpendicular and span the width of the train.

Superliner, the room is 6’9″ x 9’5″, the lower berth is 2’4″ x 6’6″, and the Upper Berth is 2’0″ x 6’2.”

Viewliner trains the room is 6’8″ x 7’1″ and the lower berth is 3’4″ x 6’0″ with the upper berth with steps
2’4″ x 6’2.”

How many Amtrak Accessible Rooms are on each train?

Amtrak sleeping car door

The amount of Amtrak Accessible rooms offered on a route depends on how many sleeping cars are on that train.

There is only one accessible room per car. Amtrak can adjust the number of sleeper cars on a train based on the season, staff availability, and equipment. Therefore, room availability depends on these factors.

Two car types do not have Amtrak Accessible Rooms.

Those cars are the baggage dorm and transitional, but all others do.

Where are the Amtrak Accessible Rooms located?

The location of the Amtrak Accessible Room depends on the train equipment; this is where things are different.

On Superliner, the Amtrak Accessible Room is on the lower level, past the shower and restrooms.

Superliner Sleeper Car Layouts

Typical Amtrak Superliner sleeper car layout

Delux Sleeper Car (only on the Amtrak Auto Train)

Viewliner Sleeper Car Layout

Viewliner trains have an accessible room near the entrance to the car door, right before the bedrooms. Amtrak has two styles of these cars, but the accessible rooms are similar.

Will I share Amtrak Accessible rooms with others?

When you reserve or book an Amtrak room, you will not share it with someone you do not know. Your travel companion is the only person with whom you will share a room, but they must be on the reservation when booking.

Booking an Amtrak Accessible Rooms

My best advice is to book as early as possible to get the best price and the date you wish. Waiting until the day of travel could bring disappointment, as you may not be able to get the room. Prices go up as these rooms sell.

How many people can be on a room reservation?

You can make reservations for one or two people in these rooms.

If you need a helper as you travel, add them to your reservation when booking. Sometimes, you can add people later, but why make another call to Amtrak if you are already in the process?

How do I book the room?

Chicago Union Station Train Sign
Chicago Union Station Train Sign

Amtrak encourages passengers to discuss assistance needs with them so they can confirm and accommodate your needs.

The best way to do this is to call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or TTY at 1-800-523-6590. You can use those priority numbers if you have a status with Amtrak Guest Rewards.

When booking, ensure you give Amtrak a phone number and email address to which you or your travel companion will have access as you travel. Providing that information to both passengers is best if possible, for this is how Amtrak alerts you to any changes or delays within your trip.

Don’t forget to give their Amtrak Guest Reward number or sign up beforehand to get points toward free travel!

When do I get my Amtrak accessible room assignment?

Your room “number” is a given; it’s “H,” but what car is unknown until after you book your reservation. You should know your sleeper car number before you hang up the phone. If not, you will receive an email shortly after booking your reservation. In that email, there should be a PDF attachment; that is your ticket that you can print out.

If you are an Amtrak Guest Rewards or Amtrak account, you can log into the Amtrak App, and your ticket should also be there. You can also find it when you log into your Amtrak account on their website.

If you do not have an account or the ticket does not show up automatically, you can add it by following the prompts at the bottom of the app and hitting the Find Trip button.

What services does Amtrak offer to those who need assistance?

Amtrak Car attendant and passenger in a Amtrak accessible room.
Superliner Amtrak Accessible room (Photo courtesy of Amtrak)

Amtrak will do its best to help you, but not all services are available at each station.

Some stations have staff, but others are unstaffed, such as platform or flag stops. But the train crew will assist you when the train arrives at the station.

If you need assistance and you book a non-sleeper train or book in coach, make sure that you indicate that you need help and follow the prompts. If you don’t, they will not expect you and will not look for you, and this can be frustrating for both you and the staff.

Station Assistance

Amtrak may be able to help you at one of its many staffed stations. You can search each station to see what services are, so you are ready either way with the proper expectations.

  • Navigating the station
  • Baggage assistance
  • Check-in assistance
  • Priority boarding
  • Boarding and detraining assistance

Onboard Assistance

There are ways the Amtrak may provide you assistance while you are on board the train. 

  • Help with stairs
  • Getting in or out of your seat
  • Boarding and detraining assistance
  • Baggage assistance
  • Storing your mobility aid
  • Describing the train layout and amenity controls
  • Moving you to and from the restroom
  • Reviewing menu
  • Meals brought to your room.
  • Visual announcements
  • Providing a personal safety briefing
  • Providing an ice bucket with ice for medicine
Amtrak sleeping car attendant

If you receive good service from the staff and are inclined, you can show appreciation in a few ways. Here is my guide to tipping on Amtrak.

Attendants are there to help with your travel needs but not for personal hygiene. They can help you get to the bathroom and shower but cannot help you once there. If you need that sort of help, you may need to bring a travel assistant.

Note: There is one attendant per car, and they are there to help all passengers, so it could take some time for them to get to you. This point is especially true during meal and boarding times.

What do you get with an Amtrak Accessible Room?

Knowing what to expect can help you determine if this is the room for you and set your expectations.

  • Seating by day transformed into an upper and lower bed by night. Your travel companion will need to crawl into the upper bunk.
  • Viewliner trains, you have an in-room restroom with a sink, toilet, and shower.
  • Superliner trains, you have an in-room bathroom with a sink and toilet. The shower on this train is down the hall.
  • Newly upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens
  • Each sleeper car has an attendant to help you and the other passengers.
  • Complimentary lounge access at some stations
  • Priority boarding at some stations
  • Complimentary meals (including room service) include beverages, including an alcoholic drink with dinner.

What meals come with Amtrak Accessible rooms?

An Amtrak omelet breakfast with biscuit and potatoes.
An Amtrak traditional dining omelet breakfast

Amtrak has two types of food services on their long-distance trains, and depending on your itinerary, you could have one or both types on your journey.

These meals come with your room, so there is no out-of-pocket cost outside of tips or added adult beverages.

Most trains have Amtrak’s Traditional Dining, meals prepared onboard the train.

Amtrak Flex Meal
Amtrak’s Asian Noodle Flex dining entree includes a dinner roll, salad, dessert, and beer.

You will have Amtrak’s Flex Dining if you are riding the Crescent, Capriol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, or the Texas Eagle between Chicago and San Antonio. These are prepared meals that staff heats for you.

There is also a cafe car on all Amtrak long-distance trains, which offers a variety of hot and cold grab-and-go meals, snacks, hot and cold beverages, and more.

Can I bring my service animal to my Amtrak Accessible bedroom?

You can bring your service animal, but remember that comfort animals are not considered service animals on Amtrak trains and must follow Antrak’s carry-on pet guidelines.

All you need to know about service animals and booking instructions is on Amtrak’s service animal guidelines page.

Will I have Amtrak Accelacble rooms my whole trip?

Your trip accommodations depend on whether you need to transfer, for regional trains do not have sleeping accommodations. But, yes, if you have the same long-distance train for the whole trip, you will have the same room unless you do something weird with the booking.

Amtrak's Capital Limited
Capitol Limited at a station stop in Cumberland, Maryland

What other means of transportation could I use on a trip?

Trips can include connecting trains or services, and in these cases, you need to ensure that you book an accessible room on each train that offers them.

For example, if you are going from Milwaukee, WI, to Tampa, FL, you will need to ride three trains, one of which is the Hiawatha, a regional train to Chicago.

Then, you would take the Capitol Limited to DC and transfer to the Silver Star to Tampa. If you want an accessible room, you must book it for both long-distance trains to have the same type of accommodation.

You may need to use an Amtrak connecting service as you travel. If that is the case, you should find out when booking or in the planning phase.

Alternatives to Amtrak accessible rooms

Amtrak Superliner seat
Amtrak Superliner seat

These suggestions will not work for everyone or every situation, but they are something to consider. Other options could exist if you travel with someone else but want more room. That way, no one has to climb to the upper bunk, and everyone has more room or at least personal space.

A roomette may work if you can walk and do not need much assistance or use a cane.

Superliner train roomettes are on the upper and lower levels. A lower-level roomette may work better for you, and you can have your attendant get your food for you if you cannot or don’t want to worry about stairs. This option could work on Viewliner trains, too.

A bedroom could work for someone who can navigate stairs on Superliner trains and may only need a foldable walker or cane. Once on the upper lever, you can stay on the upper level until you get off the train. If you are on a Viewliner train, everything is on one level, so once onboard, you do not need to worry about stairs.

Getting around the train

Getting around the train can vary based on your ability and the train’s equipment. The hallways on Amtrak trains are tight, so keep that in mind. Trains also sway as you travel, so if you want to go between cars, it may be best to go during long station stops.

The car attendees and other onboard staff may be able to help you get what you need, but they may be limited in getting you around the train. They cannot carry you upstairs or downstairs, but they can assist you if you can navigate stairs with assistance.

Getting around Superliner trains

Superliner Bedroom
The hallway for Amtrak Superliner Bedrooms

On Superliner trains, your room is on the lower level, so if you want to go to the upper level, you must go upstairs. Often, the cafe is on the lower level of most Superliner trains, while dining cars are on the upper level.

There is no place for mobility scooters in these dining cars and no way to get them to the upper level. However, if you can walk upstairs, you can use a cane and take it there.

Getting around Viewliner trains

While Viewliner trains are on one level, depending on which car you are in, there could be some challenges.

If you are in a sleeper next to the dining car, you may be able to get into that car, but if you are in another sleeper, it may be more challenging. If you can walk with assistance, you may be able to walk down the narrow hallways.

Amtrak Accessible Rooms Wrap-Up

If you have mobility issues, an Amtrak Accessible Room could be best for you.

The rooms offer more amenities, including meals, drinks, privacy, and the ability to sleep horizontally. It also allows you to share a room with a travel buddy. These rooms could be great for you, depending on your needs.

Thanks for reading. I hope this article provides you with the information you need. If it did help you and you want to help me keep quality information around, consider supporting this work.

Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

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